Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Clean-up of triazines in vegetable extracts by molecularly-imprinted solid-phase extraction using a propazine-imprinted polymer.

PMID 12739096


An analytical methodology based on a molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction (MISPE) procedure was developed for the determination of several triazines (atrazine, simazine, desethylatrazine (DEA), desisopropylatrazine (DIA), and propazine) in vegetable samples. A methacrylic acid-based imprinted polymer was prepared by precipitation polymerisation using propazine as template and toluene as porogen. After removal of the template by Soxhlet extraction, the optimum loading, washing, and elution conditions for MISPE of the selected triazines were established. The optimised MISPE procedure was applied to the extraction of the selected triazines in pea, potato, and corn sample extracts and a high degree of clean-up was obtained. However, some remaining interferences, non-specifically and strongly bound to the polymeric matrix, appeared in the chromatogram, preventing quantification of DIA in potatoes and DIA, DEA, and propazine in corn samples. Thus, a new clean-up protocol based on the use of a non-imprinted polymer for removal of these interferences prior to the MISPE step was developed. By following the new two-step MISPE procedure, the matrix compounds were almost completely removed, allowing the determination of all the triazines selected at concentration levels below the established maximum residue limits, making the developed procedure suitable for monitoring these analytes in vegetable samples.